Originally Posted by Brodovitch
The stealthy PR of the Toyotas could be attributed to the fact that they don't have a sugary drink for a sponsor as well.
I am certainly rooting for them, it took balls to run the '12 edition under '13 regulations, shows commendable foresight plus they just look awesome.
In fact, I would say Giniel is my dark horse for the top podium place. Much as I dig Robbie, his hotheadedness and burning desire to make a point this year is the exact opposite frame of mind you need to win the Dakar.
I expect many great battles between the X Raid Minis and the Hummer, but steady Giniel might just win the war from under their noses.
About time the Japanese got back in the game in the 4 wheelers
... or possibly one of either of two other
MINI drivers on the Monster roster (Holowycz or Roma) if General Perfecthansel and Gordon of the Confederate States get into a head to head civil war out on the course. Both Nani and Kristofer are capable of top stage times and keeping their noses clean, while the schoolyard bullies beat up on each other...
Another car that could be real
quick (at least sporadically) is the ex-xraid-exiled Guelain Chicherit; who got canned from the MINI gig after the Chit hit tha fan during rest day testing in the 2011 Dakar, and he pretzeled the teams debut of the All4 racing effort amongst a great deal of media/PR hoo-hah...
Chicherit is back for 2013 in a 2WD rear engined V8 buggy (does this formula sound familiar?
) by the French SMG team... From a promo vid that Guelain's "Gravity" rallying team put out... the thing goes pretty well...
But like the debuting Redbull/Carlos/Qatar/Nasser outfit, the question of "how far/how long" they can run "fast" for? Undoubtedly the long travel, big rear end horspower/2WD formula (as pioneered and made popular by Gordons Hummer over the last six or seven years) is undoubtedly very fast over the rougher offroad/off piste/virgin terrain type stages... but tend to looseout on formed road or dune stages (where 2WD is a disadvantage) and so the have to "push" to make an advantage in the terrain that favours their style of vehicle... In the past it has been this extra "velocity" that has been the 2WD vehicles achilles heel... either in terms of accident (pushing the envelope) or material fatigue/failure because of the prolonged abuse over two weeks.